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The text for this lesson is 1 Kings 5–6

Key Point

  • Though God resided within the Old Testament temple, He was hidden behind the veil in the Most Holy Place. Jesus is the unveiled Most Holy Place, accessible to all, enfolding believers in the arms of His Word and Sacraments.
  • Law: In my sin, I want to keep God at a distance; I don’t want Him to see who I really am.
  • Gospel: God, in His love, draws me near to Him through His Son, Jesus, the Word made flesh. He tabernacles (dwells) with me and all believers through Word and Sacrament, forgiving my sin.

Discussion Points

  1. All people who believe in a higher power invent some form of worship by which they show reverence to their deity. What makes Christian worship (along with the now obsolete Old Testament temple worship) unique among all religions? See Psalm 50:7–15; Matthew 18:20; and 20:28. Why have Lutherans traditionally called their worship the Divine Service?
  2. Compare 1 Kings 5:3–7 with 1 Chronicles 22:6–10. Why was David prohibited from building “a house for the name of the Lord”? Who is the main actor in these passages?
  3. Solomon built “the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah” (2 Chronicles 3:1). What else happened on that mountain? See Genesis 22:1–2, 9–14. Why is this location so appropriate for the temple?
  4. What instructions and promises did the Lord give Israel concerning the tabernacle and later the temple? See Exodus 20:24; 29:38–46; Numbers 6:22–27; and 2 Chronicles 7:15.
  5. Solomon’s temple would not last forever. Because of Israel and Judah’s stubborn unbelief, God used the Babylonians in 587 BC to destroy much of Judah and take the people into exile. The temple was completely razed. But the Lord was not finished with Judah or the temple. According to Ezra 1:1–3 and 6:14–18, what would the future hold? What does Haggai 2:9 predict about the temple? How does Jesus fulfill this, according to John 2:18–22?
  6. At the temple and tabernacle, Israelites had access to God, where He blessed them. Where is God accessible for us today? See Matthew 1:23; 18:20; 26:26–28; and 28:20. How is God with us, both individually and corporately? See 1 Corinthians 3:16–17 and Ephesians 2:18–22.
  7. The Bible certainly has much to say about how we are to live today, but eternal life always is kept in view. In 2 Corinthians 5:1 and Revelation 7:13–17, what comfort does God give us about our eternal residence?
  8. One of the most striking features of 1 Kings 5–6 is the enormous quantity of time and resources devoted to constructing the “house of the Lord” (6:1). What could this example suggest to the Christian churches today? Also consult Matthew 26:6–13.

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